wit

1
[ wit ]
/ wɪt /

noun

the keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.
speech or writing showing such perception and expression.
a person having or noted for such perception and expression.
understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; astuteness.
Usually wits.
  1. powers of intelligent observation, keen perception, ingenious contrivance, or the like; mental acuity, composure, and resourcefulness: using one's wits to get ahead.
  2. mental faculties; senses: to lose one's wits; frightened out of one's wits.

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Idioms for wit

Origin of wit

1
First recorded before 900; Middle English, Old English: “mind, thought”; cognate with German Witz, Old Norse vit; akin to wit2

synonym study for wit

See humor.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH wit

whit wit
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for live by one's wits (1 of 2)

wit1
/ (wɪt) /

noun

See also wits

Word Origin for wit

Old English witt; related to Old Saxon giwitt, Old High German wizzi (German Witz), Old Norse vit, Gothic witi. See wit ²

British Dictionary definitions for live by one's wits (2 of 2)

wit2
/ (wɪt) /

verb

archaic to be or become aware of (something)

adverb

to wit that is to say; namely (used to introduce statements, as in legal documents)

Word Origin for wit

Old English witan; related to Old High German wizzan (German wissen), Old Norse vita, Latin vidēre to see
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with live by one's wits (1 of 2)

live by one's wits

Manage by clever expedience rather than hard work or wealth. For example, Alan's never held a steady job but manages to live by his wits. This expression uses wits in the sense of “keen mental faculties.” [c. 1600]

Idioms and Phrases with live by one's wits (2 of 2)

wit

see at one's wit's end; have one's wits about one; live by one's wits; scare out of one's wits; to wit.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.